Clarke's Fairy Lamps
"who made him famous"
The name "Clarke" is well known among fairy lamp collectors. Unfortunately, many fail to appreciate the marketing genius of Samuel Clarke or the impact he had on the fairy lamp market throughout the world. To some extent, his influence continues today although many modern companies also fail to appreciate the heritage of their products.
Clarke advertised his line of fairy lamps every chance he got and often at great expense. His advertisements were certainly among the best of the day and many were in color - an uncommon practice for the late 1880's. Today, those ads are sought after by fairy lamp collectors to supplement their collections.
It is ironic that someone so well known as the "king of fairy lamps" never actually produced any of the fairy lamps he is so famous for. Instead, he licensed and commissioned other companies to produce his lamps for him. Clarke only manufactured candles (fairy lights) and used his "fairy lamps" to keep the candles in high demand. Much like today --- the money is in the ink cartridges, not the printer --- to use a modern analogy.
Clarke's trademark is well-known among collectors. His patented and registered designs protected his products from others who would have liked to "cash in" on his market share. He protected his patented designs fiercely and threatened legal action to all who would dare infringe on his patents. Perhaps it was his seemingly paranoid protection of his rights that caused him to insist his name be on nearly every fairy lamp he sold --- often at the expense of those who actually created his fairy lamps. Most of those companies who he commissioned to make fairy lamps, or fairy lamp parts, will probably remain nameless forever. A few, however, are very well known and we will attempt to document those companies who made Clarke the "king of fairy lamps."
The following list of companies is by no means all inclusive. It is only a beginning step in documenting the contributions of these companies. The active links, shown in blue, will take you to what we have documented so far. Those companies shown in grey are still awaiting documentation. So, you can see there is much still to be done in documenting...
the Manufacturers of Clarke's Fairy Lamps
Stevens & Williams
and His Competitors
Fairy Lamp Club Home Page
Fairy Lamp Forum